From Barrenness to New Life

The land is barren and dry as we began our Lenten journey. As we stand on the barren road, a cross placed on our foreheads we hear, “From dust you came; to dust you shall return.” On that dry barren Lenten weary road, I sometimes find myself wanting to just sit down and rest; to wait until someone comes along so we can walk together along this weary road. This road seems so very long with no end in sight.

Yet eventually we come to the end of the road where Jesus is now riding on a donkey. Cloaks being laid out on the road and palm branches waving in the air; heralding his arrival. Jesus triumphantly entering and his followers escorting him into town. Yet there still not quit there. They are standing outside the gates to Jerusalem. On this road, I too find myself wanting to not take another step. What will I see or what will happen if I continue along this Lenten weary road.

There is so much that happens in this most holiest of weeks: the washing of the disciples’ feet, the gathering at the table, Jesus’ crucifixion and death and then the empty tomb. The truth is we cannot have Easter without experiencing the reality and pain of the rest of Holy Week. Easter cannot come without traveling through each of these holy days as we experience and witness the cost of God’s love as Jesus dies on the cross for all of us.

As we walk along this weary road, I know that more than ever I am in need of the Easter promises. I need to be reminded again and again that life not death has the final word. “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there (Clarence W Hall)

Easter blossoms from the empty barren Lenten road to a road scattered with new life. Butterflies flutter around the empty tomb. Tulips sprout forth on that cracked barren Lenten weary road. Paraphrased from Psalm 30:5, “Death comes for the night, but joy; Easter joy comes with the morning.”

But before we can get there, me must first wallow in this week. We must experience all it has to offer. We must sit at the Holy table knowing we will be welcomed even if we deny or betray Christ like Peter and Judaea did the night before his death. We must let our feet be washed by the master. We must stand at the foot of the cross watching as Jesus breathes his last; hearing him utter, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” We must stand vigil and lay his body to rest in the tomb.

But then on Easter morning, we must proclaim that death has been defeated. The grave is empty. The road is no longer cracked and barren but is busting forth with new life. We must triumphantly declare, “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”

Linking up with Holly and the Ra Ra linkup, Mary and Tell His Story, Sue and Let’s Have Coffee!

Sunday Blessings 249

(1) A pick me up from Deja Brew

(2) Fun mail

(3) Watching our community come together during a time of loss.

(4) A great day in Minot with RD, KD etc.

(5) Olive Garden goodness!

(6) Kind words

(7) A great Palm Sunday!

(8) Running into JR and others in Minot

(9) Luna Lovegood and all her silliness!

(10) An awesome PLN

Lacking Nothing?

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “lack.” We would love to have you join us.

There is food on my table.

There is a pillow for me to lay my head at night.

There are people I love.

Yet I look around my community

Around our world

And I see there are many

Lacking these things.

Some are sleeping in their cars.

Some are on friends couches.

They are searching for food.

How can we help those who are lacking?

As Holy Week begins, I can’t help but think of Jesus

Jesus was lacking nothing

Yet he died on the cross.

Jesus came because God loves us all so much.

We lack nothing

When we are surrounded and embraced

By God’s love!


Sunday Blessings 248

(1) KD bringing me craft supplies and other stuff for church. Also attending a speaker together.

(2) Messaging with ACK and making plans for this weekend.

(3) A fresh Spring rain

(4) Fun April Fool’s joke

(5) Fun new tshirts! I am such a sucker for fun new tshirts!!!

(6) Answered prayers that I have prayed during my Lenten practice for others. I love when I get praise report messages back after praying for my friends.

(7) New Spice and Tease teas!!!

(8) Lunch and catching up with ACK!

(9) Mama Mia with KS

(10) A beautiful PLN

(11) Running into CO and GO at the eye doctor and having My Swirl with them.

(12) GO walking Luna!

(13) Luna loving on ACK

(14) Youth for Christ banquet with JK

(15) A good eye doctor appointment

The Greatest Offering

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “offer.” We would love to have you join us.

A crown of thorns

upon his head

Nails driven

Unto his hands

Blood spilled out.

Last words spoken

Father, forgive them,

For they know not

What they are doing.

Last breath taken

On that dark dreary Friday night

Then sheer utter silence.

Tears falling from Mary’s face

Her son no longer alive

Laid in a tomb

His life given for all.

Three days later

The first women preachers

Come to the tomb

And find it empty,

Where is our Lord?, they ask.

The grave has been overcome

Death has been defeated

God’s greatest offering!

Sunday Blessings 247

(1) A text from a dear friend who I haven’t heard from in a really long time. Thanks JCK!

(2) 60 degree weather

(3) Walking Luna outside on these beautiful Springlike days

(4) Speaker with KD

(5) Cute new shoes

(6) Watching Mary Poppins Returns

(7) A 5 year old running up to me at the children’s sermon to tell me it was her 5th birthday and that she had her birthday pennies ready to go!

(8) Winning a prize at my friend’s 31 page/drawing

(9) Laughter

(10) Yummy Pork Burgers from Blue Apron

(11) Bandcake breakfast with KD and family

(12) Laughter

(13) Return of American Idol. So many talented artists!

Measure

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “measure.” We would love to have you join us.

“How do you measure, measure a year, in daylight, in sunsets, in midnights and cups of coffee?” The opening scene to my favorite musical/movie Rent begins and ends with this song. I love Rent for the story it tells about love. Yes there are some hard scenes to watch but for me, this musical reminds me to look at what’s important.

How often do we truly look at what brings us joy? Too often we get caught up in our impatience. Yet when we take the time to simply wait, we begin to see the joy and beauty of our lives and the world around us. As Spring comes upon us, we start to see flowers growing.

Musicals bring me joy too. I love them all. And my first Broadway experience in NYC last summer was Wicked and it was phenomenal. There is a preciseness that the actors and actresses need to have too. The musical notes need to be at the right pitch and in the right place.

So friends, how do you measure, measure a year?


Hope Diminished?

Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, any of the television weddings….they all pull me in. And last night was no exception. I found myself watching the latest Duggar wedding on TLC. Before I knew it, tears were rolling down my cheeks as I watched this fairy tale unfold before my eyes. Both the bride and groom shared how they thought that they were never going to get married. Yet God led them to each other.

As I listened to the words coming from their mouths, my heart sank. I am the opposite. I have always thought that I would get married. Yet here I am at 40 1/2 years old and there are no prospects in sight. More and more the hope of this dream is being diminished for me. What if those words come true for me, what if I never become a wife and/or mom?

I constantly turn to the Scripture that reminds me that God hears the desires of my heart. Yet that desire is still unanswered. I find myself crying out again and again “How long, oh Lord, how long, will you forget me forever?” I want to trust that God will answer this in God’s timing and not mine, but most days that is harder to trust in than I care to admit because I am still chasing “the untils” that God placed on my heart since I was a little girl. Until I get married, until I am a mom, Until I……

Why would God place this desire on my heart if this wasn’t supposed to happen for me? I remember a conversation a friend and I had many years ago. She shared that she didn’t think God would place that desire on your heart if God wasn’t going to make it happen for you.

There have been times that I have seen glimpses. Wondering why God brought someone into my life; only to find out that it was simply meant to be just a friendship. I treasure those friendships deeply. But I want so much more. I want that special person; my best friend who I can share everything with, who will wipe away my tears when I am sad and rejoice with me when I am happy. Someone who I can grow old with as we grow in our relationship together.

Singleness is not for the faint of heart. There are so many wondering why I am still single. It is hard to answer that question when I am not sure myself. Yet I believe with all my heart that God is here. God does hear the desires of my heart.

So I will do my best to trust. However, I know that I will still find myself crying out, “How long, oh Lord, how long? Will you forget me forever? How long, oh Lord?” It’s the eternal cry of my heart!

Sunday Blessings 246

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted so thought I would try and get back on track again this week!

(1) An awesome WND Faith Formation Network meeting.

(2) Barnes and Noble fun

(3) Target, Hobby Lobby and Panera!

(4) Running into RS on the way out of Target.

(5) A surprise phone call from PMA. So good to chat with a friend I haven’t talked to in quite awhile.

(6) Family Fun Day at church.

(7) Getting to spend the weekend with my sissy

(8) A hug from Zy man

(9) Walking Luna outside on beautiful Spring days

(10) Return of American Idol

(11) Getting to see my friend GW

(12) Wonder Park and a Star is Born with my sis

(13) Our DBD group

(14) Tax return money

(15) Laughter

The Greatest Reward

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “reward.” We would love to have you join us.

I love watching shows like Spring Baking Championship, Kids Baking Championship, Trading Spaces and so much more. The end result is always so satisfying for those involved especially those that win the challenge. Often times they get dome sort of advantage in the next contest. In the end, someone wins and is rewarded.

Life is not to be all about rewards. Yet I’ll admit a reward is nice sometimes. I’m not picky…an ice cream cone, a simple comment such as a job well done. The greatest reward will not be found here on earth. But rather in heaven!

“For your reward will be great in heaven.”

Tomorrow, it will have been three months that Grandpa has been gone. Last week, we celebrated one year since our friend Ben’s funeral. Today is the one year anniversary of the loss of a beloved seminary professor. And these are just the beginnings of the anniversaries. The beauty is that they know the promise of eternal life; they know the reality of the reward found in heaven.

May we too know that reward one day.